Redstone Arsenal offering free visitor badges to the public

This will give the public access to recreational facilities and services.

Posted: Mar 29, 2019 5:49 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2019 7:58 PM

Redstone Arsenal is allowing the public to participate in activities on post, but only if people have a visitor badge. All people have to do to get a badge is fill out a few forms.

Officials told WAAY 31 it takes about 15 minutes to complete everything and then you're free to enter, with some conditions.

"This is the Army's and Redstone Arsenal's opportunity to explain what could be called the Southeast's Area 51. Not much is known back here as far as what we do, but what we do is strategically important," said Garrison Commander of the Arsenal, Kelsey Smith.

"There's so much mystery about it and so forth, and there's just so many fantastic things," said Michael Northern with Rocket City Tavern.

Officials say Redstone Arsenal is an important part of North Alabama and now the public can visit and participate in recreational activities.

"That recreational badge gives you authority to come on to the Arsenal and see what the Army is doing each and everyday," said Smith.

The Arsenal is offering these free badges to the public. All you have to do is fill out some forms, pass a background check, and then you have a badge that is good for six months.

"I think this property is ideally suited for the additional traffic that it will provide," said Northern.

People can go to places like the pool, bowling center, bars, restaurants and use their veterinary services, but people still have to pay for each activity. Gyms and fitness centers are off limits, and there are some other areas the public cannot enter. Officials said there are signs to warn people.

"So long as we are able to follow the rules, so long as we are able to adhere to the policies, we believe we've got a fairly good system that can continue to invite the public onto the arsenal," said Smith.

Some local businesses nearby are excited for the increase in visitors.

"Most of the folks who will be coming by our restaurant on the way in, maybe they'll swing by on the way out," said Northern.

They have received over 700 applications for the badges since the program started in January. Out of those 700, only ten have been turned down.

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